Becoming a Coaching Company

Rails Girls Summer of Code teams spend three months working on and contributing to valuable Open Source projects. To do this they need a place where they can work. That is where our coaching companies come in.

Coaching companies in the past have included Absolventa, Travis CI, SoundCloud, NIRD, GitHub, 6Wunderkinder.

This guide offers information on what being one of our coaching companies entails.

Coaching Company Guide

What does a coaching company do?

Being a RGSoC coaching company is more than just providing teams with a desk. Students benefit from working collaboratively and by having access to experienced developers to whom they can turn for advice.

A coaching company provides more than a desk. It’s home for a team, offering a:

  • respectful and inclusive culture
  • safe space to work in
  • dedicated, adequate desk space from July to September
  • good internet connection
  • team of developers happy to share their knowledge, including coaches for questions and support

For three months, you will share your office space with two new and motivated developers. You will introduce them to your working culture and support them throughout their journey. The teams are required to have at least two dedicated local coaches, which you will be asked to provide.

How you structure the day-to-day work with your Rails Girls Summer of Code team is totally up to you. You can have daily stand-ups, weekly meetings, invite them to have lunch with your own team of developers, ask them to join meetups, workshops etc.

Teams will additionally have access to our #helpdesk Slack channel where they can get help from a team of remote coaches who are available for all RGSoC teams.

Why should we become a coaching company?

There are plenty of good reasons to become a coaching company. Among them, giving back to the developer community and helping create a more diverse Open Source contributor network.

Coaching companies get a lot of love from the community. One of the best parts of being a coaching company is the huge amount of organic publicity your company receives; tweets, blog posts, personal recommendations from participants, mentions at conferences and events, and much more.

A coaching company has a very direct effect on the lives and projects of participants. Supporting them makes your company extremely attractive to potential hires, conference organizers, tech bloggers, journalists and media outlets.

Where are coaching companies located?

Rails Girls Summer of Code is an international initiative, and our participants work on their projects wherever they are in the world. Consequently, coaching companies can be located globally as well.

In fact, we explicitly encourage companies from all over the world to get involved as participants should have the support of a local company — and we always aim to have participants from a great variety of countries join the program. So wherever you are, there is probably a team that could really use your support.

How do we become a coaching company?

To become a coaching company you first have to register your company and your coaches on our Teams App. Then there are several ways you can connect with prospective students:

  • Actively look for a team in your city by reaching out to your local Rails Girls chapter (or Pyladies, WomenWhoCode, BlackGirlsCode, PHPwomen, etc.)
  • Let development communities, such as your local user groups, know that you’re willing to host a team
  • Spread the word by mentioning @RailsGirlsSoC on Twitter; we’ll retweet and help you connect with prospective students
  • Write a blog post to get the word out about you wanting to become a coaching company: talk about your dev team, the work environment, and your motivations for wanting to host a team. We’re happy to share your post on our social networks to help you find a team!
  • Students looking for a coaching company can also find you in the Teams App

An example of how to become a coaching company

Absolventa, a Berlin-based company which hosted a team during RGSoC 2013, wanted to participate again in 2016. Here are the steps they took to promote themselves to the students.

They tweeted about their intentions, including information about where they are located and which languages they can coach in:

They linked to a more detailed blog post including the following details:

  • What Rails Girls Summer of Code is
  • Why their company wanted to host a team
  • What they could offer to students (a desk, a team of coaches, an inclusive, safe space to work in)
  • How applicants could contact them

What if our team is not chosen?

We can usually only fund a small number of teams out of the many applications we receive. If your team is not chosen, you are of course still welcome to create your own ‘summer of code’ with two very passionate people working on a chosen OSS project. We encourage you to take the team on as interns or offer similar positions for the duration of three months.

Still got questions?

Feel free to drop us a line. We’d be happy to talk about what you feel you have to offer as a coaching company.